A senior leader of Yemen’s Shiite rebels said on Monday that the group will halt rocket fire into Saudi Arabia for the sake of peace efforts, answering a key Saudi demand in the first public sign of hope for the latest push to stop the bloodshed and civilian suffering in the Arab world’s poorest country.

For the past three years, a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition has been waging war against the rebels, known as Houthis, to restore Yemen’s internationally recognized government to power. The rebels say they had been excluded from that government and took power to rectify historic grievances against central authority.

The rebel leader, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said in a statement to journalists that the Iran-backed rebels ordered the cessation of rocket and drone attacks on the Saudis and forces loyal to coalition member the United Arab Emirates at the request of U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths.

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